Getting Started With Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra is the newest version of the Blackboard's real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact with your students in addition to the more traditional voice, video, and chat.  Collaborate Ultra loads right in your browser so you don't have to install any software to join a session.

NOTE: Google Chrome or Firefox is recommended for full functionality of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

From the light grey Control Panel located on the left below your red course menu, click on Course Tools and then Blackboard Collaborate.

The rooms are set up with defaults settings but you can adjust them by clicking Edit Room. Defaults include:

  • Room Name which is the same as your Course Name
  • Full Particpant Permission allowing students to use microphone, camera, chat and whiteboard
  • Guest Access enabled
  • Moderator Access limited to instructors

If you'd like your students to have full moderator access, you can select All users join as moderators.  

If you would like to limit or customize access for specific users within your coruse, you can select Restrict access to this session.  You will then be able to add or remove users and set their access as Moderator, Presenter, or Participant.

Be sure to click Save if you make any changes on this screen, including changing the room name or participant permissions.

Click Join Room.  Collaborate Ultra will open into a new browser tab.

When you log in for the first time, you will be given the option of watching a tutorial by clicking the Start Tutorial button.  If you select Later, you can access the tutorial at any time by going to the Session Menu at the top left of the window and selecting Tell me about Collaborate.

Click on Start audio and video setup.

You will need to grant permission for your browser to use the microphone and camera.  If an error is displayed, click Try Again and then Allow from the popup.  If you continue to experience issues, please exit Collaborate, close any other programs such as Skype that might be using your camera or microphone, and then re-join the session.  Audio and video troubleshooting information is available for Chrome or Firefox.

Audio Test

Collaborate will use your default microphone but you may have an external microphone as well as an external microphone.  You can select the microphone from the pull-down menu.  As you are speaking, the purple bar to the right of the microphone should be moving and a You sound great message! displayed.

Click Yes - It’s working to proceed or be directed to online help by clicking No - I need help.

Video Test

Collaborate will use your default camera but you may have an external webcam in addition to a built-in in webcam.  A preview of the camera feed will be displayed.  You can seelct a different camera by clicking on the pull-down menu.  As with the audio option, you may be required to click Allow on a popup so that Ultra Collaborate can access your camera.

Click Yes - It’s working to proceed or be directed to online help by clicking No - I need help.

By default, your microphone and camera are turned off after you complete the setup.  When you are ready to participate, click on the microphone and camera icons at the bottom.

You can adjust your audio and video settings at any time by clicking on the My Settings icon at the bottom of your screen and then clciking the chevron next to Audio and Video Settings.

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